Bhavanath Chattopadhyay
The Vedanta Kesari|September 2021
यमेिै्षिृणुते तेन लभययः It is attained by him alone whom It chooses (Kathopanishad. 1.2:23). This is the fifteenth story in the series on devotees who had a role in the divine play of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna.
DR. RUCHIRA MITRA

Once a beloved disciple of Sri Ramakrishna felt that he was losing ground in spiritual path as he was getting entangled in worldly life after marriage. He requested Sri Ramakrishna to remove his Maya. Sri Ramakrishna agreed and asked him to bring some food item on a Tuesday or a Saturday. Thus assured of deliverance by the grace of his guru, he arrived with sweets. Sri Ramakrishna took it eagerly with the intention of swallowing his Maya. But strangely, he could not take his hand to his mouth. He tried again and again, but failed. Unable to help his disciple, Sri Ramakrishna was in tears; he said, “Mother is not allowing me to do it.” Swami Saradananda explains this strange situation: in human mood the compassionate Master was eager to help people in the spiritual path; but when he ascended to the divine plane, he would find that the time had not come yet, or that it was not the will of the Divine Mother. This disappointed disciple was Bhavanath Chattopadhyay.

Bhavanath was born in 1863 in Baranagar near Dakshineswar. He was a fair and handsome teenager when he started visiting Sri Ramakrishna and received immense affection from him because of his simple, guileless nature.

Sri Ramakrishna used to tell the householder disciples, “Narendra, Bhavanath and Rakhal are my intimate disciples. They are not ordinary people. Serve them a meal one day.”1 “Feeding them is like feeding Narayana Himself. You will be greatly benefited if you feed them.”2 And again, “Rakhal, Narendra and Bhavanath are ever-perfect. They are spiritually awake from birth. They’ve assumed human bodies only to teach others.”3

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